Dr. Oz offers an overwhelming amount of advice on his TV show and in numerous articles in popular magazines. Unfortunately, some of his advice is inconsistent and confusing. Here are some examples regarding vitamins.
Dr. Oz Advice on Vitamins
Among the myriad recommendations that you want to know about vitamins are the answers to two questions:
- Which vitamins should you take?
- How much of each one?
Dr. Oz is a wonderful medical doctor who knows the value of supplements. His TV shows, his website, and his published articles focus on the benefits that we can get from them
In a quick search on his website, and in a couple of articles in our local newspaper, he gives conflicting advice on how much of each vitamin that we should take as supplements every day. In some cases he recommends target amounts that are well above the governmental RDAs. One a couple of occasions he simply states that multivitamin supplements should offer 100 percent of the RDA of each vitamin.
This should not be rocket science. There are only 13 vitamins, and we have a pretty good idea of recommended amounts to take based on continuing research.
That is why it was such a puzzle to see Dr. Oz recommend the RDA of vitamin C (60 mg), which is notoriously low. According to one of my university colleagues, who is a research specialist on vitamin C, the RDA of this vitamin was an arbitrary determination by a committee. That means it was a guess.
The daily intake of vitamin C should very clearly be 10-20 times the RDA. Indeed, my colleague takes 1,000 mg per day. That is closer to the minimum that everyone should take. Dr. Oz sometimes recommends this amount, and sometimes he doesn’t. Pretty confusing.
This doesn’t even consider the value of upping vitamin C intake by several thousand milligrams for preventing and reversing clinical conditions. The most famous ‘Dr. Vitamin C’ of all time in this regard was Linus Pauling, who recommended at least 2,000 mg per day, up to 10,000 to 20,000 mg per day depending on clinical conditions. (See Vitamin C at the Linus Pauling Institute.)
The other noted vitamin that is becoming more important as a supplement is vitamin D. The RDA of this vitamin was increased in 2010 as follows: for those 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; for those 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; and for pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily.
At least one printed article by Dr. Oz (if he actually writes them) referred to an older RDA at a much lower level. On his website and on his TV show he talks about the importance of a 2,000 IU daily dose. The latter recommendation is closer to reality based on recent research. However, even that level may be inadequate for those who are vitamin D deficient or who can benefit from a treatment effect for cancer. Doses may be better at 3,000 to 4,000 IU, or even in some cases as high as 10,000 IU.
The Main Point…
It is the same one as always: Do your research to get the lay of the land, so to speak, on who is recommendation how much of what vitamins and why. The ‘and why’ part is important, since so many doctors, nutritionists, and other health practitioners apparently parrot the party line without much thought or evidence to support their advice.
And if you can get tested for certain vitamins, such as vitamin D, use that as a guideline for how much you should take every day.
Loving Dr. Oz, sort of,